Archive for the ‘Feast of Weeks – Shavuot’ Category

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts is a personal or group in-depth study guide/student manual that reveals the shadows and realities of the Messiah in the prophetic visions in the Feasts of the LORD. It will fill in the holes of your Bible when reading the words ‘Jewish feast’ or ‘the feast of the Jews.’  This study will illuminate often-overlooked phrases and idioms that allude to the ‘appointed times’ of God.

Both the prophet Micah and King Solomon state that without prophetic vision and knowledge, God’s people perish. Studying the Biblical holy days will revive the searching soul and bring insight and understanding into the complete salvation found in Yeshua – his past, present and future work.

This newly revised study guide/student manual includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalms, Gospels and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as suggestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

If you are doing a group study, a leader’s manual for the revised second edition student manual can be purchased that not only has the answers to the questions, but also ideas for spurring discussions.

May be purchased on


“This is the best Bible study I have ever done. I can’t seem to put it down and I am learning more and more about my faith everyday. I have been a believer for 60 years and I am learning truths I was never taught in church. I even asked my pastor if he knew all of this and admitted, he did not.” (M. Graves)

“I have been growing in my faith from reading and studying the Feasts in this guide. Thank you for your faithfulness to Yeshua!” (S. Corben)

“Few Christians understand that the context for the Jewish Messiah of the New Testament of their Bibles is the culture and language and history of the nation of Israel. This book helps explain why that culture, language and history is necessary knowledge for understanding the identity of the Messiah and how knowing the Jewish Messiah enlarges the understanding of the Biblical feasts. Good, basic foundational information from which to launch further study. Very enjoyable and eye-opening.” (W. Lopez)

“Loved it. Will keep going back for future Wisdom that truly matters.” (J. Banta)

“I have learned so many things about the Bible that I never saw before. I loved learning about the fall festivals and I became aware of more and more people teaching about these special times. I especially learned that Christmas and Hanukkah are very different holidays. I am grateful to have done this Bible study.” (L. Herbert)

“My eyes are seeing so much more in Scripture, especially the new testament, after doing this study.” (M. Gravenhorst)

Clouds of Ascension

Forty days after being resurrected from the dead, Yeshua ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives.  He was hidden in a cloud.  If Yeshua is going to return in the same way that he left, then it is important to ‘see and understand’ this cloud with its multifaceted message.

“After saying this, he was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were staring into the sky after him, suddenly they saw two men dressed in white standing next to them. The men said, “You Galileans! Why are you standing, staring into space? This Yeshua, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come back to you in just the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). 

The Greek word for ‘cloud’ in Acts 1 is nephele and means a literal cloud.  According to Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew, this cloud is ‘a definitely shaped cloud’.  Nephele comes from the word nephos with a metaphorical meaning of “a dense multitude or throng.”  In this sense, though a nephele takes a physical shape, it is a large cloud made of masses of clouds that covers the heavens.  

Nephele is used as the physical element of the cloud that covered Israel in the Red Sea. It was through the nephele and the sea that the Israelites were immersed into Moses.

“For, brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea,  and in connection with the cloud and with the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe …” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). 

Nephele is used for ‘the cloud’ on the Mount of Transfiguration.  Peter, James and John were taken by Yeshua to a mountain where he was glorified before them.  Appearing with Yeshua was Elijah and Moses.  God spoke to the disciples from the cloud that surrounded them.  

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).

Nephele is used of ‘the clouds’ in which Yeshua will return.  Even though there will be a massive amount of clouds, every eye will see him and all the tribes of the land of Israel will mourn his return.  It is also the nephele where the living and resurrected dead will meet Yeshua and be translated from mortal into immortality and ‘be with him forever’ as he returns to Israel, Mount Zion, Jerusalem to set up his Millennial Kingdom.  

“Look! He is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him” (Revelation 1:7, Zechariah 12:10). 

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;  then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

The Hebrew word for ‘cloud’ is anan and means ‘cloud mass’.  It is used to represent the presence of God and his covering or sukkah over Israel in the wilderness.  It is a figurative ‘sign of divine protection’ as is seen when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea.  The anan of God was Israel’s  divine protection from the Egyptians as well as the sea itself.    The ‘cloud’  also serves as a barrier hiding the fullness of God’s divine holiness and glory.  It separates sinful man’s approach to God (Lamentations  6:4) showing that man’s relationship to God is initiated and sustained by God Himself and not initiated or sustained by man (Vines). 

When Moshe ascended to the mountain with the stones tablets, God descended in a anan and stood with him.  Within the anan, He pronounced His memorial name: YHVH (Exodus 34:4-5).  Within the idea of the cloud along with His presence is very name of God, ‘The I AM that I AM’.    

“Moshe cut two stone tablets like the first. Then he got up early in the morning and, with the two stone tablets in his hands, ascended Mount Sinai, as the LORD had ordered him to do. The LORD descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of Yod Hey Vav Hey” (Exodus 34:4).

Ten days before Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), Yeshua ascended in a ‘cloud’, taking the divine presence and glory of God with him until his ‘appointed time’ of return.  This cloud covering is the evidence that not only was the Father’s protection was around His Son, but also His holiness, His glory and His divine name validating Yeshua’s divinity and credibility that he is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).   

The Witness of a Martyr

Apart from the ‘cloud’ being the divine presence of God and Yeshua ascending to the right hand of His Father, there is also another possibility for this ‘throng of clouds’.  It comes from Hebrew 12:1:

“So then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us, too, put aside every impediment — that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us ….”

Who or what is that ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that surround us like a cloud? The word ‘witness’ in Greek is martus from where the word ‘martyr’ comes. 

Martus is used as a witness for historical and ‘forensic’ accounts, especially  in God’s judicial system where there needs to be a witness of two to establish a matter.

“One witness alone will not be sufficient to convict a person of any offense or sin of any kind; the matter will be established only if there are two or three witnesses testifying against him” (Deuteronomy 19:15).

“Also that when the blood of your witness Stephen was being shed, I was standing there too, in full agreement …” (Acts 22:20).

Martus is also used of God being a ‘witness’ to our accounts of truth.     

“For God, whom I serve in my spirit by spreading the Good News about his Son, is my witness that I regularly remember you…” (Romans 1:9)

“I call God to witness — he knows what my life is like — that the reason I held back from coming to Corinth was out of consideration for you!” (2 Corinthians 1:23).

Martus means ‘to bear witness to Messiah by their death’.  This is the most common understanding of martyr: one who dies in a horrible way for their faith in Yeshua.   We see this happening around the world today with ISIS murdering Christians in other countries for their faith in Christ.  They are martyred (murdered) because of their martus (witness). 

“Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them received authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God …” (Revelation 20:4).

““I know where you are living, there where the Adversary’s throne is. Yet you are holding onto my name. You did not deny trusting me even at the time when my faithful witness Antipas was put to death in your town, there where the Adversary lives” (Revelation 2:13).

More specifically a martus or witness is ‘one who can or does what he has seen or heard or knows’ (Vines).   In this sense, everyone who is born again into God’s Kingdom is a martry to that Kingdom. We are all witnesses for God our Father if we are doing what we have seen Yeshua do, listen to what we have heard (and read) in the Word of God on how we are to live, and know His personal salvation and deliverance through experience from a daily walk of faith of dying to ourselves.  When we die to ourselves, we martus ourselves in order to live fully for Yeshua as a witness to his death and resurrection.

Paul teaches this concept of martrydom to the congregation in Galatia.  This type of ‘witness’ is the very essence of being immersed after being born again by Spirit and ‘water’ into the Kingdom of God.

“I have been crucified with Messiah and I no longer live, but Messiah lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). 

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

In this circumcision done by the Messiah,  you were buried along with him by being immersed; and in union with him, you were also raised up along with him by God’s faithfulness that worked when he raised Yeshua from the dead” (Colossians 2:11-12). 

Though we think of martyrs as dying horrible physical deaths, martyrs only become witnesses to Messiah when they first die to their carnal selves in order to live revived spiritual lives that reflect the One who gave them life.

Feast of Firstfruits

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Forty days before Feast of Firstfruits, Yeshua rose from the dead.  The word in Hebrew is HaBikkurim and is plural. At the time of Yeshua’s resurrection, there were others who had been resurrected.  Matthew 27:52-53 gives the account of these holy ones:

“Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life;  and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them.”

What happened to these resurrected people?  There is no mention of them again.  They could not die again because Hebrews 9:27 says ‘it is appointed for man to die once’ – inclusive of Lazarus who had died and was brought back to life.  What happened to these resurrected people?

“When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious– that you, LORD God, might dwell there” (Ephesians 4:8 (Psalm 68:18).

Could it be that these resurrected firstfruits were those who appeared as a massive cloud and bore martyr in a personal way to the resurrection of the dead by being called out of their graves and taken into an immortal dwelling place with Yeshua?  This is not impossible as Peter, James and John had already witnessed Elijah and Moses in some physical form with Yeshua in his glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Because of this  ‘great cloud of witness’  to the resurrection that surrounds us, we are challenged to put aside the sins that keep us from moving forward, that keep us from running the race to our eternal goal.    It is this ‘great nephele of martus’ that gives us hope in the coming resurrection of the dead.  Like Israel crossing the Red Sea, we are also protected by ‘a cloud’  an anan – the glory, the holiness, and the eternal name of God – YHVH.  Through His Spirit that was poured out two thousand years ago on Shavuot, we are sealed as true martyrs and wait for the day when Yeshua returns in ‘clouds’ and in great glory. 

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot

“From the day after the  Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering (Firstfruits), count off seven full weeks.  Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of a fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of Firstfruits to the Lord…. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live” (Leviticus 23:15-21).

The Feast of Weeks in Hebrew is Shavuot; in Greek it is called Pentecost.   This day specifically refers to the ‘’appointed time’’ God commanded to be observed 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits of the wheat harvest for the Firstfruits of the barley harvest.    

Fifty days after being delivered from Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and learning about manna and living water, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai. Exodus 20 and 21 describe the events surrounding God descending to the top of Mount Sinai to meet with His newly formed nation.  There was thunder and lightning and a thick cloud covering the mountain along with a loud shofar blast.  The people trembled with fear of dying and asked that Moses be their mediator.

When God outlined his ‘’appointed times’,  this event became known as Feast of Weeks and was given as a lasting ordinance.  It was one of the three commanded pilgrimage festivals when Jewish people from every nation were to gather in Jerusalem to worship the LORD.  

They arrived in Jerusalem at the Temple with two loaves of leavened bread for a wave offering.  Hundreds of thousands of Jewish people would listen as the priests read the following traditional passage from the prophet Ezekiel:

“I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal…” (Ezekiel 1:4).

The Wind and Tongues of Fire

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered; they were confused, because each one heard the believers speaking in his own language.  Totally amazed, they asked, “How is this possible? Aren’t all these people who are speaking from the Galilee? How is it that we hear them speaking in our native languages? We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judah, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome; all Jews by birth and proselytes; Jews from Crete and from Arabia. . . ! How is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done?”  Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, “What can this mean? …” (Acts 2:5-13).

Fifty days after Yeshua’s resurrection, the Feast of Weeks arrived. Jews from every nation came to Jerusalem as was their proscribed duty.  This particular year, however, when the priest waved their offerings of bread and they heard the words of Ezekiel,  the holy wind of God began to roar violently and, before their eyes,  a small group of 70 people had tongues of fire appear over their heads (Acts 2). 

“The festival of Shavuot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place.  Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole place where they were sitting.  Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak” (Acts 2:1-4).

In Hebrew,  the words for Holy Spirit are Ruach haKodesh.  The word ruach means ‘breath or wind’ and the word kodesh means ‘holy.’   Thus the ‘holy wind of God’ that blew violently was the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the 70.  The tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of the disciples’ heads.   Through the holy wind of God and His refining flaming fire, they began to speak in other languages.  In Greek the word glossa is ‘tongue’ and means ‘a nation distinguished by its speech.’ As the disciples spoke, Jews from every nation heard the message in their own ‘tongue.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Wind or Ruach – רוח

Resh ר – A Head means ‘what is most important’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or join together, and’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘inner room’

Holy or HaKodesh – הקודש

Hey ה – A Window means ‘behold or reveal, the’

Qof ק – A Back of the Head means ‘what is final’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or tie together, and’

Dalet ד – A Door means ‘pathway’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

The complete Hebrew word picture for Ruach haKodesh: “The inner chamber  joined  to what is most important, the final pathway to the divine presence of God.”

Fire or Esh – אש

Aleph א – An Ox means ‘strength’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

The Hebrew word picture for esh: “The consumng divine presence and strength.”

Tongues or Lashon – לשון

Lamed ל – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘to urge forward’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or join together, and’

Nun נ – A Fish means ‘action and life’

The Hebrew word picture for lashon: “To urge forward the consuming divine  presence binding life.”

Two millennia earlier,  God’s made His holy presence known to the Israelites through wind and lightning.  He revealed His holy presence  through wind and fire to Ezekiel.   Could it be that God was now revealing His holy presence again through wind and tongues of fire? The crowds in Jerusalem from all over the known world were hearing the impossible.  They are confused and amazed.  The disciples of Yeshua were speaking in each of their different languages with such perfection that they knew it was a miracle.

Peter stood up.  The man who had publicly denied knowing Yeshua only seven weeks earlier raises his voice and address the crowd.  He tells them they are witnessing the fulfillment of a prophecy of Joel and begins to testify about Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.   

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).

Pierced Hearts

“Men of Israel! Listen to this! Yeshua from Natzeret was a man demonstrated to you to have been from God by the powerful works, miracles and signs that God performed through him in your presence. You yourselves know this. This man was arrested in accordance with God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge; and, through the agency of persons not bound by the Torah, you nailed him up on a stake and killed him! But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. … Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Yeshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:22-24).

When Jews from every nation heard Peter’s testimony about Yeshua,  they were cut to the heart.  The Orthodox Jewish Bible says they were ‘pierced with conviction in their hearts.’  The Hebrew word for ‘cut’ is brit, the same word used when cutting a covenant.  The Spirit of God brought not only conviction and a cutting of their heart, but renewed the covenant God made with Israel at Mt. Sinai; the covenant they had broken. 

The people asked what they needed to do regarding this ‘renewed’ covenant.  Peter and the apostles responded with the Hebrew word shuv.  This Hebrew word means ‘turn back’ or ‘return’ in the sense of making a 180 degree turn around.  It is translated into English as repent.

“Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:29).

The men and women of Israel needed to repent from their disobedience and sin  and return to faith in God.  They were to be immersed into the name of Yeshua for the forgiveness of their sins and receive the gift of God’s SpiritThree thousand Jewish men and women repented and turned back to God. They received forgiveness of their sins and the Holy Spirit was poured into their hearts (Acts 2:41).  Their hearts of stone were transformed into hearts of flesh and the new covenant prophesied by Ezekiel and Jeremiah, instituted and promised by Yeshua  had begun in Jerusalem with Israel.

“This is the [new] covenant I will make with the House of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them” (Ezekiel 36:24).

“For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven” (Matthew 26:28).

The Kingdom of Heaven

“And he [Yeshua] told them yet another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like chametz that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose” (Matthew 13:33).

Chametz or ‘soured dough’ was used for raising bread.  It was always symbolic of the leavened teachings, puffed up teachings of Israel’s leaders, yet Yeshua uses ‘soured dough’to describe the Kingdom of Heaven in his Parable. Chametz is the ingredient the woman takes and mixes with her flour to make the dough rise.   When the leavened dough rose to its fullest extent, the woman  had enough dough from a single bushel of flour for a feast of leavened bread.  

The commandment for Shavuot included a grain offering along with two loaves of leavened bread made from finely ground flour.   The two leavened loaves were to be waved before God by the high priest.  For centuries as the two loaves were waved, the people hoped in the coming Messiah promised by the two witnesses of the Torah and the Prophets.   

When Yeshua walked on the Road to Emmaus after his resurrection, he told the two men with him everything that the Torah and Prophets had spoken about him.  This witness of two established him as the Messiah of Israel. 

Ten days after Yeshua’s ascension Shavuot arrived.  Through the power of the Ruach haKodesh, the hearts of Jewish men and women were transformed and they became empowered witnesses of repentance, forgiveness and salvation.  God’s Spirit had been poured into a small lump of dough, the Jewish people.  The Jews who had been ‘cut to the heart’ would take the message of Yeshua to their own countries in their own languages.  They would become the first missionaries to proclaim salvation to the Jew first, then to the gentiles in those nations (Romans 1:16).  

Within a few years, the power of Spirit of God would come upon the gentiles, change their hearts, and they would become part of God’s Kingdom with Israel.  As the two leavened loaves of bread were being waved by the high priest in the Temple, the Body of Messiah was born. God’s Spirit had been poured into a small lump of dough and like the woman’s leaven would continue to spread from them to the nations of the world until the Kingdom of heaven would be established by a witness of two: Jew and gentile, one in Messiah (Galatians 3:28). 

Fulfilled by Yeshua

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, and Strengthener), to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth…. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. … Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:14-20).

Yeshua kept his promise.  He ascended to his Father and asked Him to send the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth.  On the  ‘appointed time’ of Feast of Weeks, God poured out His Spirit with flames of fire on 70 people.   They knew that Yeshua and his Father were One and they were joined with them.   They were no longer fatherless, they had God as their Abba Father as Yeshua did.  They were given the same authority to forgive sins as Yeshua and the anointing power to be witnesses of his salvation to the world.  They were sealed with God’s Spirit along with multitudes of Jews and those of the nations who would believe their message.  They were reborn by water immersion and the Spirit of God.  They entered His Kingdom with the seal of a promise.   With God’s mark of ownership, they became the latter firstfruits of the barley harvest, a guarantee that the same Ruach haKodesh that brought Yeshua from the dead would someday raise them to eternal life (Ephesians 1:13-14).

©2008 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

The Big Ten in the New Testament

“The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:9).

Some in the modern-day church teach that not all of the Ten Commandments are reiterated in the New Testament therefore, some are no longer in effect.  However, in truth, none have been removed, abolished, or changed.   The Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, are the summary of the Torah given to Israel by God at Mt. Sinai, not the complete Torah which outlines how to live within God’s  established community.  Throughout the new testament, Yeshua refers to this ‘Table of Contents’ summary he is asked about the commandments.  He never negates any of the instructions in the Torah even when asked about the greatest commandment.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

“Yeshua replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law (Torah) and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Yeshua said the Torah and the Prophets are summed up in two commandments: love God and love your neighbor.  These are not new commandments as Yeshua quotes from the Shema, words given by the prophet Moses to the children of Israel.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-8).

Some pastors teach that the Torah was only given to Israel suggesting that believers in Yeshua are not bound by the same commandments.  However,  if you are a child of God and born again into His Kingdom, then His commandments are for you. Every earthly father has teachings and instructions for his children – natural or adopted –  to obey.   Our heavenly Father is no different.

Yeshua said, “If you love me, then you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15).  He and his Father are one, therefore his commandments will completely agree with his Father’s commandments (John 10:30).  Yeshua is the voice of God in the flesh making him the mouthpiece of his Father (John 1:14).  Everything Yeshua spoke to the people were the Words of his Father that he was commanded to say (John 12:49).

The Ten Commandments with the Aleph-Bet

When the Ten Commandments were given to Israel at Mount Sinai, they weren’t written with Roman numerals or from left to right.  They were written with Hebrew letters, right to left, and called the  Ten Words. A wonderful teaching tool for learning the Ten Commandments is to use the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Each of the letters are word pictures that actually hold the meaning for each commandment.   The Ten Commandments are listed below  using the Hebrew word picture and include new testament Scriptures proving that all of the Ten Commandments were reiterated by Yeshua or the apostles in the New Testament.

Love God:

Number One:  א Aleph – An Ox

The first commandment is represented by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for aleph is an Ox.  The Ox is symbolic of strength, leader, or what comes first.  We are to have no other gods except first and foremost, Yahweh, who delivers us from the bondage of slavery into freedom, from sin and death into fullness of life. It is only Yahweh who is able to destroy every power or ‘other gods’ as He did in Egypt. 

“I am the LORD (Yahweh) your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

“Yeshua answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the LORD your God and serve him only’” (Luke 4:8).

Number Two: ב Bet – A House

The second commandment is represented by the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for bet is a Tent or House.  This symbolizes a household, a family and the preposition, ‘in.’  In Middle Eastern culture, the idols were called ‘household gods.’  Rachel was guilty of sitting on her  idol when Laban came to Jacob   looking for his household gods.  (Genesis 31:19). 

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for the LORD (Yahweh) your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

Number Three: ג Gimel – A Camel

The third commandment is represented by the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for gimel  is a Camel and is also  the Hebrew word for ‘camel.’    The symbolic meaning is to lift up or pride.  We, as believers in Yahweh are not to pridefully use Yahweh’s name.  When we live lawlessly, against the commands,  and call ourselves followers of God, saved by Yeshua, then we are misusing His name and profaning it among the world in which we live.  This would be considered ‘taking His name in vain.’

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD (Yahweh)  your God, for the LORD (Yahweh)  will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7).

“Some of the traveling Jewish men who adjure evil spirits also undertook to call on  the name of the Lord Yeshua over those who had evil spirits, saying, I solemnly implore and charge you by the Yeshua whom Paul preaches!  Seven sons of a certain Jewish chief priest named Sceva were doing this.  But one evil spirit retorted, Yeshua I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?  Then the man in whom the evil spirit dwelt leaped upon them, master two of them, and was so violent against them that they dashed out of that house in fear, stripped and naked and wounded” (Acts 19:13-16).

“As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the nations because of you’” (Romans 2:24).

ד Number Four: ד Dalet A Door

The fourth commandment is represented by the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for dalet is a Door and is also the Hebrew word for ‘door.’   The symbolic meaning is a pathway or a place to enter.  Yeshua stands at the dalet and knocks.  Anyone who opens the door to him, he comes in in and feasts with them (Revelation 3:20).  The Sabbath is the ‘door’ we enter through so we can have a more intimate fellowship with the Father through Yeshua. 

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy ….  For in six days the LORD (Yahweh)  made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the LORD (Yahweh) blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

“Then Yeshua said to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5).

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work (of creation), just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9,10).

The first three commandments above explain how to love God; the following six explain how to love our neighbor.  The Sabbath is the door or pathway that takes us from loving God to loving our neighbor.

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

Love your Neighbor:

Number Five: ה Hey – A Window

The fifth commandment is represented by the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for hey is a Window and means to behold, observe or reveal and it is also the pronoun ‘the’ like in   HaShem or the Name.  On the cross, Yeshua looks at John and says, “John, BEHOLD your mother. Mother, BEHOLD your son” (John 19:26).

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD (Yahweh) your God is living you” (Exodus 20:12).

“Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a a promise …” (Ephesians 6:2).

Number Six: ו Vav – A Nail

The sixth commandment is represented by the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for vav is a Nail or Peg.   It is symbolic of securing, binding, and is the conjunction ‘and’ as in ‘chesed v’ahava’ meaning ‘mercy and love.’  Yeshua was murdered, nailed, and secured to the cross.

“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

“Do not murder,  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with is brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).

Number Seven: ז Zayin – A Sword

The seventh commandment is represented by the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for zayin is a Weapon like an Axe.  It is symbolic of cutting, separating or dividing.   Adultery is like an axe that cuts and separates a married couple. 

“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).

Number Eight: ח Chet – A Fence

The eighth commandment is represented by the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for chet is a Fence or Inner Room.   The symbolic meaning is to separate as in to protect with a fence what is within its boundaries.  A fence protects personal property from those who would steal.   In Hebrew thought, the Torah is considered a ‘fence.’ For those who walk according to the instructions of Torah, their inner chamber of intimacy with the Father is protected.

“You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

“You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal … “ (Luke 18:20).

“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).

Number Nine: ט Tet – A Snake

The ninth commandment is represented by the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for tet is a Snake.  It is symbolic of twisting.  It was the serpent who first twisted the truth and lied to Eve in the Garden.

“You shall not give false testimony (lie) against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony…’”(Luke 18:20).

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning,  not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Number Ten: י Yod – A Closed Hand

The tenth commandment is represented by the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The word picture for yod is a Closed Hand.  This is symbolic of a finished work or completed deed.  When a person covets, their hand is not closed and content, but desiring more.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Thus saith the LORD …

“In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and Torah the LORD our God has commanded you?’

Tell him:  “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.  Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders – great and terrible – upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.  But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.  The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as in the case today.  And if we are careful to obey all this Torah before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness” (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).

Thus saith Yeshua …

“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Torah until everything is accomplished.  Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:18-19).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.